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Monday, 6 April 2020

Day 21 of self-isolation

Boris Johnson is so ill with Covid-19, he's now in hospital, thus demonstrating what happens to you if you ignore social distancing advice and shake hands with lots of infected patients.

The backs of my hands are still a bit rough, so I'm treating them with Diprobase ointment.

The new generator arrived. It works.



Sunday, 5 April 2020

Day 20 of self-isolation

Blood pressure; 124/83, pulse rate 56. Looking good!

It's Sunday, and the weather is beautiful. I think we'll go out for a walk - in our garden.

More food today - we did a click-and-collect from Waitrose, which was collected for us and delivered. We spent the next hour disinfecting it and putting it away. Ladysolly thinks  she might have over-ordered. I don't think she did, because we are only shopping once each week.

An unanticipated problem - spraying with alcohol has dissolved some of the sell-by dates. In future, we'll relabel them before spraying.

The Scottish Chief Medical Officer,  Catherine Calderwood, twice broke the lock down rules by going to her second home. She should be sacked; this gives out the wrong message. She wasn't sacked, she was just allowed to lurk out of sight in press briefings. Our governments STILL are not serious about this. 

... update ... she resigned.

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Day 19 of self-isolation

I've moved the three UV disinfecting lamps to the server room. Thus means I can control the power to them remotely. Handy.

The retort stands arrived. I'll be using them to hold things for the lamps to disinfect.

I keep hearing very silly things about this virus. Apparently, onions protect you. If you have an onion in the same room, you're safe. Also orange peel boiled in water, and you inhale the vapour.

The backs of my hands are suffering from excessive hand washing; I'm treating them with E45 cream. The last time this happened was 33 years when I was first working with computer viruses. I used a "contaminated room" method, and colour coded all infected diskettes as red, but without realising that I was doing it, I stepped up my hand washing (totally ineffective against computer viruses) and got a slight problem on the back of my hands, until ladysolly pointed this out, and I took appropriate action.

The American CDC is telling people that they should wear face masks - but it's voluntary. Of course it's voluntary, the CDC can't pass laws. President Trump is setting an example - by not wearing a mask. That's leadership.

A face mask is to stop you from infecting others, and it doesn't have to be a medical-grade face mask. You might not realise that you're infected - not everyone shows symptoms, and not everyone shows symptoms in the early stages. The governor of Georgia only just learned that. "This is a game changer," he said. Yes, it is - and we knew this a couple of months ago.

Even if you can't get a medical-type mask - just wear a cloth over your face and nose. Then, if you cough or sneeze, the droplets don't spread out in a great cloud. Surely everyone has a cloth they can wear!




Friday, 3 April 2020

Day 18 of self-isolation

The generator arrived today. What a mess! It was described on eBay as "new, box dirty". But the generator was badly corroded, and I'd be reluctant to start it.



I've asked the seller to give me a full refund. So I ordered another generator, this time from Amazon. It's another two-stroke petrol, £128 for a 750 watt output.

My electric toothbrush is corroded. I actually have two, one for the main brush and one for the small interdental. Having two means I don't have to keep changing the brush head. The corrosion is on the metal shaft from the motor that drives the brush head. So I took it into my workshop and filed off the corrosion, Dremelled it with a wire brush and now it looks pretty new. I smeared Vaseline over the metal, and hopefully that will sort it. But just in case it doesn't, I ordered a new one from eBay - they're only £7. It's battery operated, because I don't like the ones with a built-in rechargable battery; when that battery no longer holds charge, there's no way to replace it.

I've given up on trying to straighten my little finger. I showed it to the doctor two months ago - the tip droops at an angle of 20 degrees. This is called "mallet finger" and it's a mild case, the finger still works fine. My idea was that I'd splint it for a while, and it would straighten itself. The doctor said that it was worth trying, but was unlikely to work, and I should give up if six weeks gave no result. Do you remember those days, when you could see the doctor about something as trivial as that? So, the treatment didn't work, it's eight weeks later, so I'm giving up.

In the UK, we've taken a big building and converted it into a 4000 bed hospital, entirely for Covid-19 patients, and we did it in nine days. Well done the people who did that!

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Day 17 of self-isolation

Weight down to 16 stone 8. Another food delivery arrived today, demonstrating the difference between shopping and ordering food. This time, the goodies included a single leek. I suggested to ladysolly that if we combined that with the single banana that we got last time, we could make leek and banana soup, but apparently, that isn't a thing.

One of my worries has been set to rest - two jars of decaf coffee came in this delivery. I was concernedd that I might have to go back to non-decaf.

Paying people suddenly got more difficult. Our particular Barclays group suddenly went offline, leaving a message that if we needed to contact them, we should phone our personal contact who will be working from home. And, of course, we don't have her home phone number.

It's entirely sensible of them to make this decision - not so sensible to assume that all their customers know the home phone numbers of theis personal contact.

Tested cases of Covid-19 reached a million, worldwide. The worst place to be right now, is New York, with a horrific death rate.

The toothbrushes I ordered on eBay arrived today. Commerce is still working

I did a nice April Fool yesteday. I signed on to Faceebook as Donaid Trump and posted on a politics group. Fun was had by all.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Day 16 of self-isolation

I read an article that pointed out that the suppliers of electricity are also finding themselves short staffed; there is therefore, a possibility of power cuts.

So, thinking about this, we have a freezer containing quite a lot of food, and if power is out for 12 or 24 hours or more, we might have to choose between eating refrozen food (dangerous, and we don't want food poisoning at a time like this) or throwing away some hundreds of pounds worth of food.

So I did some checking. Freezers and fridges don't need a lot of watts; 100 watts at most. So I went onto eBay, and bought a small generator, capable of 700 watts, costing £70 plus £20 delivery. If we get cuts before then, I'll use one of the computer UPSes as a power source.

But how to get the power to the freezer (and fridge)? That's going to need a bit of delving around, but it should be possible. And if the power does go out, that's what I'll do. So the generator is an insurance.

They cancelled the Edinburgh festivals and Wimbledon. Quite right.

912 deaths in 24 hours in America. America is now seeing more fatalities than any other country, and it's going to get worse for the next couple of weeks, because they delayed their lock down. The UK is also getting worse, with 563 deaths in 24 hours.

By the way, these fatality numbers are an understatement; they are only hospital deaths. People dying in care homes and other places, aren't counted in this.

Here's what this looks like from the point of view of Covid-19.

We're organising another Waitrose shopping list, but delivery slots are like hen's teeth, so we're going to do a "click and collect" because that's got to be safer than walking round the supermarket and hoping that other shoppers respect the two meters rule.

I did an April Fool post to a Facebook political group, under the name of Donaid Trump and suggesting that they rename their group in my honour. I did a similar joke last year, and I was quite surprised to find that Facebook hasn't removed the account.


The economic fallout from this will be huge; governments are pouring money into the economy at a great rate. Where will this money come from? It's fiat money; they are just creating it. This will lead to huge inflation in the next few years. I'm not saying this is wrong, just that this is what will happen. I agree that this is an emergency, and we have to support the economy and workers in this way. But we will also have to pay for it, eventually.

In America, it will be worse. The don't have an NHS. Healthcare is paid for out of expensive health insurance. Some of that is included with people's jobs. A lot of people (airlines, hospitality industry, sports, retail)  are losing their jobs, and with that, either they will lose their healthcare insurance, or else they won't be able to continue to pay their premiums.

What will happen to those people? It doesn't bear thinking about.

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Day 15 of self-isolation

We tested our generator today. It doesn't work. It was never going to be really useful, it's only a few hundred watts. If the mains electricity goes down and stays down, civilisation is over.

I managed to get onto Barclays Online (it was down on Saturday) to pay the Vatman a fine they levied on me for not sending in a P11D(B) form. I had sent in the P11D, but didn't realise that the (B) version was also needed. It's not that I object to paying my taxes, but why do they have to make it all so difficult to understand?

We're still fit and healthy - so far, so good.